Northern Ireland's Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy is preparing to announce that all taxis in Northern Ireland will be allowed to use bus lanes.
A DRD consultation received an 86% negative response, with the main concerns from cyclists about safety and perception of safety being ignored. This plan harms cycling in Northern Ireland and especially Belfast, as well as slowing all bus transit - for the sake of less than 3% of rush hour taxi commuters.
There is a protest planned for Belfast City Hall on Thursday 21st February at 1pm, find out more on the Bikefast Facebook page.
Cycling is growing in Northern Ireland and this decision will harm that growth. In Belfast alone, commuter cycling has grown by 60% over the last 10 years, while taxi commuting has fallen by 24%. If that trend continues, rush hour cyclists will outnumber rush hour taxi commuters in just 2 years' time.
For all the reasons ignored in the consultation - a more hostile environment for cyclists in bus lanes, safety concerns, DRD prioritising unsustainable transport, slowing bus journeys across the city, endangering the efficiency of bus rapid transit - stop and think.
Do not allow all taxis in bus lanes. Revisit the consultation outcome. Set Northern Ireland on the correct course - protect cycling and public transport, not the interests of taxi companies.